Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer Review

Smashbox photo finish foundation primer review
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This is the first ever post of My Beauty Cloud, and I made it a product review. Yeah, yeah, I know. Bear with me. This has become a staple product in my makeup routines, so I’d feel remiss if I didn’t mention this.

Thanks to my aunt, I was blessed with two makeup products I’ve been excited to try because I’m a terrible person that follows makeup accounts on Instagram meaning I always want their new products. One was the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer (both full and travel size) and the other was a Bobbi Brown eyeshadow palette, which I talked about over here.

But onwards.


“Foundation primer” is a little self-explanatory but basically you apply this before your foundation, but they do say that it can be worn alone. Along with the basics of making your makeup last longer, it’s also supposed to minimize the look of fine lines and pores.

“Photo finish” alludes to that because it’s supposed to be a formula that will “blur out imperfections” when light hits your skin. That way when you take pictures (or let’s be real, mostly selfies), it will give the illusion of you having flawless skin.

Their formula is packed with vitamins A & E, grape seed extract, and green tea. “What does that mean?” you ask. Okay, so vitamin A (also know as retinol) is found in foods like spinach, salmon, carrots, salmon and fish oil. When you put it on your skin (as you would be doing with this primer) it can reduce clogged pores and inflammation. It’s also common for treating acne, and can help with eczema and psoriasis as well!

Vitamin E protects the body from free radicals, which can cause wrinkles, lines and age spots.

Grape seed extract contains antioxidants, which simply means that they protect cells from damage. In this case, they would help your skin cells not be so damaged by UV light exposure. These antioxidants may also improve skin texture.

Now you’ve heard of green tea, but maybe you’re not sure exactly what it can do for you. Green tea has a lot of benefits, but some of the biggest ones are that it rejuvenates the skin, naturally treat acne, reduce sun damage, as well as soothe sunburns. Because it’s an antioxidant, it’s also good to drink (and very good).

Overall, these seem to be really good products that you’d want in your foundation primer, because they help protect and enrich the skin as well!


To be honest, the tube itself (even the full sized) was a little bit smaller than I’d imagined it. However, now that I’ve used both the full and travel size quite a bit, I realize that they’re actually decent sizes! A little goes a long way, so you can definitely last a while and still use them every day.

The packaging was different than how I saw it in pictures, but still clean and simple which I do like.

When I first squeezed it out, it was slightly watery, which was surprising but I attributed it to the fact that it was brand new sooo. Since I wasn’t too sure about how it was supposed to work, I also expected it to be more shiny but it’s not like that at all!

A concern of mine was that my makeup tends to end up streaky or even flaky sometimes at the end of the day because I have dry skin, so I was interested to see if it would help that problem as well.


First thing I noticed when I actually put it on: it’s so smooth. Not even just the actual product; I’m talking about when you apply it, it just glides right over your face (I use my fingers, they’re clean I promise) and it’s a really nice feeling. Afterwards, your skin feels very soft so I had no problem just leaving it alone without adding foundation or concealer.

So I know it’s a foundation primer, but when I do put something over it (which is most of the time) I’ve been using concealer rather than foundation mostly for personal preference. It still works the same way. I just don’t put on foundation often, just because when I leave the house it’s usually only for a few hours, and I don’t like too much makeup for a short time.

Now I generally have dry skin, which is why I try to put on some moisturizer before actually applying my makeup, just so whatever foundation or concealer I put on doesn’t flake or look too cake-y. Putting this on before my concealer really makes a difference. After hiking, going to the beach, and heading to the night market (in one day) with no touchups, when I got home to take off my makeup, it was still looking good (no flakes, streaks, etc.) which I count as a major win for this product and the main reason I was so excited for it!

BUT, I will say that when I started putting on more products, it was becoming more flaky. I’m not sure whether it was because of the actual products I was using and they just weren’t very good, or my skin was more dehydrated than the first time I used it, so there’s a few different factors to consider. Just wanted to put that out there.


  • both full and travel size are good sizes
  • a little goes a long way
  • very smooth when you put it on
  • easy to blend and apply
  • oil-free (as advertised) so I think it could be good for people with more oily skin!
  • odorless! As much as I like perfume and smelling good, I’d rather not have in it my makeup products because of contrasting smells or possible irritation.
  • feels super light, not heavy at all
  • makeup still gets kind of flaky at the end of the day (but could just be me)


Um. Okay, so I like this product. I really do. The only hesitation I have is the price. On the official Smashbox site, it’s $36 for the full size. Luckily, I happened to get this product as a gift (pssst – it makes a great gift!). And while I think it’s a product that works well enough for me, it’s not something I think I would spend $36 on every time I ran out or if I lost it.

So that about wraps it up! Has anyone else tried this primer, and if so what did you think about it? If you haven’t, would you want to try it out? Leave your thoughts in the comments; I’d love to hear from you!

Have fun,